Blog: Running Three Half Marathons In Two Months
After a summer without racing, Lucy Miller takes on three half marathons in two cities
What with holiday and various other commitments, I didn’t manage to fit in any half marathon training or run a single race over the summer months – and as autumn approached I found myself keen to get out on the road again. The fun begain on the last Sunday in September, at the Sony Ericsson Run To The Beat Half Marathon in Greenwich, London.
Since this was my first race in a while, I was determined not to push myself too hard. Being out of practice I struggled during the early stages – particularly around mile six, where there was a bitch of a hill to climb – but the sunshine drew a huge crowd and their support kept me going. After the halfway point the course was fairly flat and I felt good so I started to push. I reached the finish line in 1hr 43min, putting me in 50th place – but more importantly I was only six minutes off my personal best. The hunger to race was definitely back.
I began to wonder if I could have beaten my PB of 1hr 37min if I’d pushed harder at the start. There was only one way to find out – so I entered another race. This time it was the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 11th October, which runs through some of London’s most attractive green spaces. No nasty hills in this one and thanks to the flatness of the course I powered across the finish line in 1hr 36min. It’s always pleasing to record a PB – but doing it so soon after a break from racing was exhilarating.
After this hugely satisfying result I would have been content to rest for a while, but an invitation to run in the Nike Half Marathon in San Francisco on 21st October was too good an opportunity to turn down. When I arrived in San Francisco, the guys from the Nike press team took me on a five-mile training run that seemed to take in every one of the city’s hellishly steep hills. This was going to hurt. A lot.
But starting alongside 20,000 buzzing runners the next morning gave me enough energy to handle any climb. The race was a cracker – every mile had a highlight, including dancing cheerleaders, bands and a chocolate pit stop. The hills were no less brutal the second time around, but the awesome views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge they afforded made them almost manageable. I did end up having to walk a couple of them, which meant no PB this time, but I was pleased to cross the line in 1hr 41min after what has to be the hardest half marathon I’ve entered. I’ll be back next year, though, to take my revenge on those vicious hills.
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Lucy Miller is an experienced journalist who has worked across a range of health and fitness titles. She was the fitness and nutrition editor at Men’s Fitness UK, and has also been fitness editor of both Health & Fitness UK and Women’s Fitness UK. Lucy qualified as a NASM-certified personal trainer and nutritionist in 2008.